Oh my!  We went to a local Farm Shop for lunch last weekend – the Cafe at the Allington Farm Shop.

P1070091Look how whippy and creamy the froth was on top of this cappuccino – it looked like dessert!

P1070092Trifle topping, or tiramisu perhaps…?!!  Nope.  Just good ole coffee.

Your favourite coffee shop and drink?


A Little Something Cornish

Oh my word, and my wonderful Mother.

P1060802She brought me this delicious treat recently.


P1060799Cornish Yarg – see the nettle leaves with veins on the top…?

P1060800Totally drool-worthy.  The cheese is tangy, with an earthy flavour from the nettles applied to the edges.  The flavour is mild, strong flavours overwhelm it.  Bring to room temperature before eating, for the best flavour.

It seems – from internet research – that Yarg is not some Cornish word but the reverse surname of the chap who created it originally.  He he!  Mr Gray!

There is also a Yarg prepared with wild garlic leaves which I’ve tried – not so good in my opinion.

You like nettles with your cheese?

Seasonal Sarnie


This time last year I was enjoying brie and cranberry wraps.

This year I fancied a variation on a theme – cranberry with turkey and stuffing, spinach for nutriton factor.  A little mayo to wet the bread  Lashings of cranberry with juicy, fat berries.  Not home-made.

P1060812Good all the same.

Your seasonal favourite?

Autumn Vegetables

This is a recipe for the vegetable soup which we ate on Bonfire Night last year, with my sister and the family.  It’s thick, comforting and very tasty.  It’s great for a hearty meal, with crusty bread and some cheese.  It’s very nutritious.  And it will serve many – or freeze portions if desired.  Further discussion is below.

In the pot for Hearty Vegetable Soup(serves many!)

1 large onion, peeled and sliced

1 large leek, peeled, thoroughly washed and sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium swede, peeled and diced

1 large potato, peeled and diced

Chicken or vegetable stock – approx 500ml

Dried herbs – parsley, sage, thyme; or mixed herbs

Freshly ground black pepper

1 can chopped tomatoes

Optional – 1 can beans e.g. butter beans, haricot beans – drained and rinsed

Add the prepared vegetables to the pot, from the onion through to the potato.  Pour over sufficient stock to come level with the vegetables in the pot(this is usually approx 500ml).  Add plenty of fresh ground black pepper, and dried herbs to taste.  If using mixed herbs, use 1 teaspoon.  If using a mix use 1/2 teaspoon parsley, 1/4 teaspoon each of sage and thyme.  Mix through and bring the pot to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to a rapid simmer for approx 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft, and remove from the heat.

Add the can of tomatoes to the pot and whizz using a hand-blender, to achieve the desired consistency.  Add the rinsed beans and return to the heat – heat for 2-3 minutes over a moderate heat to allow the beans to heat.  Serve and enjoy!

I used several carrots which came from Dad’s garden – thanks Dad!  And small onions rather than one large.  The beauty of this soup is that any veg can be added – it would have been good with the addition of parsnip, peeled and sliced.  And veg can be omitted – especially for those with particular dislikes.  The potato adds thickness to the soup; and the canned tomatoes add a tanginess, and extra nutritional value.

As with most soups an extra flavour boost can be provided by sauteing the onions in a small amount of butter/oil before adding the rest of the veg to boil, etc.  It’s not essential to do this, and I didn’t on this occasion, but I think it provides a greater depth of flavour.

Use herbs which you like – dried mixed herbs are great for a balanced flavour but I had run out on this occasion, so used the mix I described.

I didn’t add the beans to this batch, but adding the beans increases the nutritional value of the soup, with protein and the extra vitamins and minerals found in beans.  The soup also becomes more substantial, and will satisfy for longer.  Beans add texture; and extra texture can be had by removing some of the veg before blending, and then  adding to the soup afterwards for chunkiness.

A good grinding of fresh black pepper is great on this soup, as it is full of warm flavours and the black pepper adds to that.

A bowl of the soup alone can be quite sufficient; but it can be extra special with a slice of cheese on toast, or cheesy French stick croutons on top; or simple fresh French stick with butter, and/or served with a strong Cheddar.

We’ve been making this soup for years in our family – it’s the one soup that my niece & nephew will eat.  That’s a great way to get veg into children!

Steaming hot soup for a cold Autumn day…

Cheeky Chutney

This chutney is fantastic.  Sweet, savoury, fruity, nutty, a little acidic from vinegar – all in one mouthful.  Contrasts wonderfully with cheese.

Everyone aims for a bit of walnut when they take a serving – so good.

Adds a zing to crackers and cheese, robust enough to sing out loud in a sandwich with some strong Cheddar.

Thank you Waitrose  🙂


Leftovers after my little niece and nephew slept over.  They adore them.  And admittedly this is because a slightly revolting technique was used to encourage them to try cherries for the first time(a few years ago) – spitting cherry stones!  They think it’s wonderful!  It’s now an annual competition – but the ultimate rule is whoever spits clears up the stone…  Yes it’s gross.  It’s also fun, and even funnier when they giggle!  But they tried a new fruit, and they now love something healthful for their little bodies 🙂

Food can be fun.